MLS to name Nashville as expansion franchise

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The league has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday in Nashville

Major League Soccer is headed to Nashville.

The league has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday regarding "the future of soccer in Nashville" where it will announce the city will be receiving one of its expansion bids, sources confirmed to Goal.

The news conference will include MLS commissioner Don Garber, Tennessee governor Bill Haslam, Nashville mayor Megan Barry and John Ingram of Nashville Soccer Holdings LLC.

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Nashville was in competition with multiple cities to gain one of the league’s two expansion spots planned for this year. Sacramento, Cincinnati and Detroit are among the remaining finalists for that other spot with no word as to which of those teams will join Nashville in MLS. Sacramento and Cincinnati are believed to be neck-and-neck in the race to join Nashville, with Detroit looking like the longshot in the group.

Previously, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis and Tampa Bay were elimination from contention. However it is possible those cities, along with the two not chosen for this round of expansion, could be awarded one of the two bids expected to be awarded in 2018, which would bring MLS to 28 teams. 

The MLS expansion race has also been impacted by the continued delays in David Beckham's Miami expansion group securing its stadium to join the league. There is no timetable yet on when Miami will be ready to join MLS, with Garber stating recently that he wouldn't rule out having current expansion candidates leapfrog Miami into the 24th expansion slot. Further delays could conceivably lead to both Sacramento and Cincinnati — the frontrunners to join Nashville in the next expansion clash — joining the league before Miami.

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